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Are New Halloween Decorating Trends Too Much for Your Outlets?

Trees and Twinkling Lights Are the New Halloween Trend

For many homeowners, keeping up with the latest decorating trends is hard enough. Worrying about what those decorations will do to their electrical system makes it seem like a herculean effort. Finding out that a breaker trips when all the decorations are up and running is never fun. 

Thankfully, homeowners can enjoy a fun and spooky Halloween without worrying about power outages or electrical fires with regular maintenance. 

When To Replace Outlets

fixing a outlet

Like anything else around the home, electrical outlets can degrade. When they do, they can begin to cause problems. In some cases, this can happen in as little as five years. Most modern outlets will typically last 10 to 15 years, but some signs can indicate old or failing outlets. 

Flickering lights, constant breaker trips, and cracked or blackened outlets are all signs that it's time to consider replacing the outlets. In older homes, outlets that only have holes for two prongs should be replaced as soon as possible, because they don't have a ground connection. When outlets get warm, begin to smoke, or have scorch marks, getting them replaced is a matter of safety and shouldn't be delayed. 

The Two Types of Outlets

For safety reasons, the National Electric Code requires two different types of outlets in homes. GFCI, which stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, is a type of outlet required in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, garages, and exterior outlets that people typically use for seasonal decorations. These safety outlets have a kind of built-in fuse that trips when it senses an imbalance in the outlet's electricity. This is one reason why they are required in any room that has water faucets or connections.

AFCI outlets are Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupters. These protect against arcs, which can happen due to a rodent chewing through a wire, putting a screw or nail through a wire, or an overheating electrical device. The National Electric Code mandates that AFCIs be installed in bedrooms, kitchens (for appliances like refrigerators), laundry rooms, and anywhere people sleep.

GFCI outlets perform their duty at the actual outlet, but AFCIs are installed at the electrical panel. 

Reasons To Hire a Professional

Dealing with an electrical system can be extremely dangerous for anyone not trained to do so. Plus, it's generally more trouble than it's worth. An electrician knows what to look for and can advise homeowners on the right course of action to bring their electrical system up to code. 

woman holding a question mark

Even in newer homes, unseen problems can lurk behind the walls or at the outlets. The telltale signs aren't always so clear to anyone who isn't actually looking. In the end, hiring a professional gives homeowners the peace of mind and safety they need to enjoy Halloween without worrying about electrical issues.

About Edison Electric, Inc.

The folks at Edison Electric, Inc. have been serving Minneapolis, MN, since 2007. They offer upfront pricing, hassle-free scheduling, and excellent customer service. They have an A+ rating with the BBB and have received a Top Rating on Home Advisor. Contact them for dependable Minneapolis outlet services.